Among the largest wireless service providers in the United States, Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility – formerly Cingular Wireless – and T-Mobile offer several cell phone plan options for consumers. Although constantly changing, prices and offerings tend to remain competitive between companies. Along with phone plans, service coverage area and the devices offered can weigh in when deciding which carrier to choose.
Unlimited mobile-to-mobile calling comes as a standard feature within individual plans throughout AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon's offerings. AT&T offers standalone individual plans whereas T-Mobile gives its customers the option to bundle text and data usage within any given plan. The extent of Verizon individual plan packages include text-messaging options while data features are added separately. T-Mobile markets more talk time, multi-messaging and internet usage for the monthly price.
Family Plan Packages
Designated for a group of people – whether family or friends – to share a bundle of minutes from the same allotment, family plans provide savings for cell phone users. Two lines are required to establish service on a family plan with the ability to incorporate up to three additional lines within a plan. As of the time of publication, the cost for each additional line averages about $10 with all three companies.
Unlike traditional postpaid cell phone accounts, prepaid service provides the freedom of no long-term annual contracts, credit checks or hefty deposits. All three companies offer daily and monthly plan choices. Known as the GoPhone, AT&T's prepaid service currently does not include smartphone or PDA, personal device assistant, usage opposed to the availability of 4G service on the T-Mobile network and PDAs such as the BlackBerry with Verizon Wireless.
AT&T offers its customers Rollover minutes on postpaid plans and Rollover balance on prepaid plans. Any unused minutes within a given plan will carry over to the next billing cycle for use and likewise for any remaining monetary balance on a prepaid account.
T-Mobile postpaid plans consist of talk time, multimedia messages – text, picture and video messages – and data while the extent of Verizon Wireless plans include talk time and multimedia messaging. AT&T requires users to purchase separate messaging and data packages from voice plans.
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